HC Deb 09 March 1998 vol 308 cc48-9W
Ms Roseanna Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many works of art he has borrowed for use in his offices and official residence; which organisations he has borrowed these works from; what the insurance value is of these works; what guidance he received on the acquisition of these works; if the works have yet been removed for temporary public exhibition elsewhere; and if the works have been or will be replaced on a regular basis. [31556]

Mr. Spellar

[holding answer 27 February 1998]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has retained in his office four works of art which were in place when he took up his appointment. Three are from the Ministry of Defence collection and one is on loan from the National Maritime Museum. My right hon. Friend has also recently chosen twenty-four works for the flat which he occupies in Admiralty House, twelve to be loaned from the Government Art Collection and twelve to be loaned by my Department's own collection.

Under Treasury rules, the Government normally bear their own risk. Works of art belonging to Government Departments are not insured and so neither my Department nor the Government Art Collection has insurance values for these works. In general, works on loan from private lenders and from institutions that are not directly Government funded are covered by the Government Indemnity Scheme.

Formal advice on the selection of works of art is given by the Government Art Collection and by the Registrar of my Department's collection.

It is normal practice of both the Government Art Collection and my Department to make works of art available for public exhibition on request from organisers of appropriate exhibitions. No such request has yet been made for the works of art selected by my right hon. Friend.

Works of art in all Government offices are changed as and when circumstances require.

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